Australian Bookmakers Take Cronulla Sharks Odds Off The Board Due To Uncertainty
Bookmakers in Australia "have responded to the uncertainty" surrounding National Rugby League club Cronulla by "suspending several markets on the Sharks for the 2014 season," according to Stuart Honeysett of THE AUSTRALIAN. The move came after the Australian Rugby League Commission convened Wednesday to "digest a report from the NRL's Integrity Unit into the drug protocols of all 16 of its clubs." The report "focuses on Cronulla." There could be an outcome by Thursday, but TattsBet and TAB Sportsbet "were taking no chances" after suspending betting on several markets. Both agencies had recorded "only a small number of bets but suspended markets as a precaution after being burned over Melbourne's salary cap scandal in 2010." TattsBet has "stopped taking bets on Cronulla's opening round match" against the Gold Coast at Remondis Stadium as well as most losses for the '14 season. TattsBet Media Relations Dir Gerard Daffy said, "Because there's no clarification over who's going to announce this and we've pulled it down until it becomes clear." TAB Sportsbet suspended betting on most losses for the '14 season. TAB Sportsbet spokesperson Glenn Munsie said, "This market is more affected if players are stood down" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/12).
AFL SAGA CONTINUES: In Sydney, Chip Le Grand reported Australia Football League CEO Andrew Demetriou is "accused of making false, misleading statements" about a key aspect of the Essendon supplements saga following "a dramatic intervention by an unlikely source -- James Hird's wife Tania." Hird, "furious at behind-the-scenes attempts" by the AFL to convince Essendon to alter its contractual arrangements with her husband, "confirmed the suspended Essendon coach was being paid by the club." She claimed Demetriou "knew this despite his emphatic statements to the contrary." Hird: "Of course he's being paid, that was the deal. Andrew Demetriou knew it; the AFL knew it. We wouldn't have taken a sanction without pay; we would have taken the AFL to the Supreme Court and they knew that. Demetriou knew that'' (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/11). In Melbourne, Emma Quayle reported the AFL's players are "resisting a push to log their supplement intake via a mobile phone application on a daily basis, as part of the AFL's crackdown on clubs' use and documentation of supplement products and medical treatments." The players are "willing to help the league impose tighter controls on the use of supplements at their clubs and play a more active part in their own treatment, but believe a daily requirement to lodge their information would be too big an ask" (THE AGE, 12/12). In Sydney, Adrian Proszenko reported Advanced Sports Nutrition employee Darren Hibbert is "scheduled to be interviewed by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority on Friday after his legal representatives fast-tracked the meeting to help resolve the drugs scandal." In "an intriguing twist to the inquiry," a witness who complied with an interview request -- but challenged a notice to produce documents -- "was informed on Thursday he could be liable for criminal prosecution." The "hardline stance is the first real test of ASADA's new powers," which include fines of A$5,100 ($4,700) a day for non-compliance. The maximum penalty for the obstruction of government officials "carries a two-year jail term" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 12/12).